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Showing posts from March 14, 2010

History - Mughal Empire - 1

The second Battle of Panipat marked the real beginning of the Mughal Empire in India.

 Bairam Khan remained the protector and guardian of Akbar during the initial reign of Akbar.
Akbar’s mother Hamida Banu Begum, and his foster mother Maham Anaga urged Akbar to get rid of the Regent, Bairam Khan. In 1560, Akbar openly expressed his desire to take the reigns of the empire in his own hands and dismissed him. Bairam Khan submitted his resignation and desired to proceed to Mecca. On his way to Mecca, Bairam was stabbed to death by Lohani Afghan, whose father had been killed by Mughal troops under the command of Bairam Khan.

Akbar followed a policy of conquest for the expan-sion of his empire until the capture of Asirgarh in January 1601. He achieved the political unification of the whole of northern and central India by frequent annexations extend-ing over 40 years.

Akbar realised the value of Rajput alliance in his task of building up an Empire in India an…

History - Pre-historic and Vedic Civilisation

Ancient geographers referred to Himalayas, as also their less elevated off­shoot—the Patkai, Lushai and Chittagong hills in the east and the Sulaiman and Kirthar ranges in the west— as Himavat.

Jambu-dvipa was considered to be the inner­most of seven concentric island-continents into which the earth, as per Hindu cos­mographers, was supposed to have been divided. The Indian sub-continent is said to part of Jambu-dvipa.

Sapta sindhavah is the name of the country of the Aryans in the Vedas.

In the ancient litera­ture, there are references of India being divided into five divisions. In the centre of the Indo-Gangetic plains was the Madhya-desh, stretching from river Saraswati, which flowed past Thanesar and Pehowa (present-day Haryana) to Allahabad and Varanasi. The western part of this area was known as Brahamrishi-desh, and the entire region was roughly equivalent to Aryavrata as described in the grammar of Patanjali. To the north of Madhya-desh lay Uttarap­atha and to its west Apara…

UPSC Exams History Notes - 1

Abdul Rahim Khan-i-Khanan: He lived during the reign of Akbar.  He translated Babur’s Memoirs from Turkish to Persian.
Abdussamad: He was hon­oured with the award of  “zari­qalam” by Akbar.
Ages, Chronological order of: Palaeolithic, Mesolithic, Neolithic, Chalcolithic
Agrahara: Tax-free villages granted to the learned Brahmanas in ancient India were known as Agrahara.
Akot: is a town, about 42 km from Akola, from where a stone idol of Lord Adinath, the first Jain Teerthankara, was found in 1993.
Alien Powers in India, chronological sequence of: Indo-Greeks, Scythians, Kushanas, Huns.
Amarasimha: was one of the nine gems in the court of the legendary Vikramaditya. His work Amarkosha occupies a dominant position in Sanskrit lexicography.
Amoghavarsha-I: was the long ruling Rashtrakuta king (A.D. 814-78). He represented the height of development of his dynasty.
Asanga: was a Buddhist philosopher. He was the origi­nator of Buddhist Yogachara idealism.
Ashvaghosha: was the spiritual advis…

descriptive Question-Answer 3

People's Movement and Princely StatesWhat was the contribution of the People’s Movement in Princely States under the British rule?

During the British Rule, along with the Nationalist Movement against the British by the Indian masses, there was a parallel movement by the people of the Princely States. While most of the territory of India had passed into the hands of the British by the beginning of the 20th century, some parts of the country were still under the princely rulers/Nawabs. Though most of the rulers had accepted the suzerainty of the British, yet most of them were despotic and callous towards the welfare of their people. Economic condition of people was poor with extremely high demands of land revenue and other taxes. Modern education and other social services were neglected by most of the rulers.

The people of these States were greatly influenced by the Nationalist Movement. The movements like the “Prajamandal Movement” and “All India States’ and People’s Conference” c…

descriptive Question-Answer 2

Office of ProfitWhat is the ‘office of profit’ under the Indian Constitution?

The Constitution of India, under Article 102, clearly stipulates that a person shall be disqualified for being chosen as, and for being a member of either House of Parliament if he holds any office of profit under the government of India or the government of any State (other than an office exempted by the Parliament by law), but not a Minister for the Union or for a State.

If a question arises as to whether a Member of Parliament has become subject to disqualification by virtue of holding the office of profit, the President of India shall take a decision on the matter on the basis of the opinion of the Election Commission of India, under Article 103 of the Constitution. The decision of the President in this regard shall be final and cannot be questioned in any court of law. Similar and analogous provisions exist for the Members of Legislative Assemblies of the States, under Article 191.

Full Convertibility o…

descriptive Question-Answer 1

How is President of India ElectedHow is the President of India elected? What are the provisions in the Constitution relating to a vacancy in the office of the President of India? Is there any such provision for a vacancy in the office of the Vice President of India also?

India is a democratic republic and the Constitution provides for an elected Head of State i.e. the President. As Head of the Union Executive, the President is elected by an indirect election for a term of five years. Articles 54 and 55 of the Constitution deal with the election of the President. Article 54 provides that the President of India shall be elected by an electoral college consisting of the elected members of both the Houses of the Parliament and such members of the State Legislative Assemblies. As per subsequent amendments to the Constitution, the Assemblies of the National Capital Territory of Delhi and Union Territory of Puducherry were also included in the electoral college, while other Union Territories…

USO Fund; Need for Urban Development

Write short notes on:
(a) USO Fund. (b)
Need for Urban Development.
(a) USO Fund: USO Fund (USOF) stands for Universal Service Obligation Fund of the telecom sector in India. It is collected as 5% of the revenues of the cellular operators. The Fund aims at creating the communication towers and other infrastructure in the rural areas which need extension of mobile coverage. Such areas are otherwise left by the operators due to lack of commercial viability. Upto January 2009 only 3000 out of the 7871 towers proposed by the USOF were ready. If utilized optimally, USOF would result in higher penetration and virtually universal coverage in India. (b) Need for Urban Development: Because of India’s agrarian nature and higher incidence of poverty in the rural areas, the policy makers in India have been concentrating on rural development and rural poverty alleviation programmes since independence. The Census 2001 Report exposed the fact that the population growth rate in the urban area of the c…

Secularism in Indian Constitution

Write a detailed note on secularism as provided in Indian Constitution. What are the threats to Indian Secularism?
The Preamble of Indian Constitution describes India as a ‘sovereign socialist secular democratic republic’, and the words ‘socialist’ and ‘secular’ were added by the 42nd Constitutional Amendment. The word ‘secular’, though was specifically added in the Preamble in the year 1976, yet the original spirit of the Constitution was completely secular in nature. Its insertion into the Preamble has ensured that secularism has now become a source from which the constitutional provisions on secularism draw their authority and it has now become the central object which the Constitution seeks to establish. It is also one of the basic structures of our Constitution and no compromise can be made on this by any government. Unity and fraternity among the people of India is sought to be achieved by enshrining the ideal of a secular State in India. It implies that the State protects all th…

Innovative Financial Reforms

“Innovative financial reforms and open gateway for international funds to come to Indian industry can help the economy come out of the recessionary mode.” Discuss.
The global economic slowdown has shown its negative effects on the Indian economy during the latter half of the previous fiscal. Among the first sufferers were the stock markets and the related corporates. Recent times have been truly testing for the Indian industry, restricting its options significantly. Many industrial houses are finding it difficult to survive the scare of recession. Expansion has stopped and many companies are in the process of cost reduction and restructuring by reducing their manpower. It is time now to provide them with the required support and environment to tide over the turbulent times. It is felt that a set of financial reforms at this point of time would certainly help the industrial sector to experience the upswing and come out of the difficult situation. There is a need to create an Alternative…

Independence of the Supreme Court Judges

Write a brief note on the independence of the Supreme Court Judges and their position. How can a judge of the Supreme Court be removed before the expiry of his term?
The Constitution of India provides for independence of Judiciary. The aim is to ensure that the judicial system works  free from the influence of the legislature and the executive. It was believed by the framers of the Constitution that unless specific provisions were made to make the judicial system independent, the citizens could not be assured of unbiased dispensation of justice. There are several provisions that take care of this aspect. Firstly, the President who appoints the judges of the Supreme Court has no authority to remove them from office. Even their appointment has to be approved by the President after consulting the Chief Justice of India. Further, the pay and allowances of the judges cannot be reduced to their disadvantage during their term by the Parliament and the entire expenditure on account of the pay …


What do you know about SEBI?
The government of India created the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) with a view to control and regulate the foreign investment in the capital markets, new issues of capital brought out by the companies and grievances of the companies and the investors. In addition, SEBI has been created with the broader aim of protecting the interests of the investors in securities and promoting and regulating the securities markets in the country.  Based in Mumbai, SEBI has eight divisions and departments which look after several functions to achieve the above mentioned broad objective. The Depositors and Custodians Division looks after the work of registration of depository participants/custodians, as well as their renewal of registration or cancellation of registration. Foreign Institutional Investors Division, on the other hand, deals with registration/renewal of registration of such investors. FII Division looks after the FIPB proposals and the governme…

Struggles of Gandhi

Give a brief account of the struggle of Gandhi during the initial years of his advent on the Indian scene, with special reference to Champaran Satyagraha.
Before the advent of Gandhi on the scene of the nationalist movement, there was hardly any charismatic leader who could motivate the common man to join hands to oust the colonial power. After several years of struggle against apartheid in South Africa, and mastering the techniques of Satyagraha based on non-violence and truth, Gandhi returned to India in 1915 and straightaway joined the struggle for independence of the country.  Gandhi’s first experiment with Satyagraha in India came in the year 1917 in Champaran District of Bihar. The opportunity was provided by the indigo planters there, who were exploited and oppressed by the European planters. Gandhi arrived in Champaran along with other leaders like Dr Rajendra Prasad, J.B. Kriplani, Mazhar-ul-Haq and Mahadev Desai and made inquiries about the conditions of the peasants in Cham…

Religious Freedom & Equality

What are the provisions relating to religious freedom and equality in the Indian political system? Does the Indian Constitution specifically bar the conversion of people to other religions? Do the Hindu converts from Scheduled Caste community have the right to claim the benefits for Hindus under the Constitution?
The Preamble of the Indian Constitution proclaims India as a secular country. The Indian secularism is based on the principle that there is no religion of the State and every citizen is free to practice any religion or propagate it. There are several provisions in the Fundamental Rights that aim at attaining secularism in the country. Articles 25 to 28 of the Constitution specifically lay down that the Indian State observes an attitude of neutrality and impartiality towards all religions. No taxes can be imposed for practising or promoting any particular religion. Further, it also provides that no religious instruction shall be provided in any educational institution wholly …